Commissioning and planning the workforce

The ever-changing nature of adult social care means that commissioning personalised, preventative and quality care and support services can be a challenging process.

Workforce commissioning is about how an organisation analyses, plans, implements and reviews its workforce requirements, ensuring that workforce development decisions are in line with financial planning and service planning. The workforce is the primary driver of both social care quality and costs. 

Our  workforce commissioning resources provide you with a clear and simple set of interlinked tools, tried and tested with workforce leads over a number of years.

Find out more about our tools and resources in the sections below.

Workforce planning

Workforce planning can help you meet the changing needs and future opportunities for your business. We have easy to use workforce planning resources to help you develop your own plan and tools to help you make any changes needed.

See our workforce planning tools

Workforce shaping and commissioning

Our practical ‘ Workforce shaping and commissioning for better outcomes’ guide helps you to think about the key steps and processes needed to commission the right workforce. You can use it for any workforce transformation, from short term redesigning of a single service to developing long term integrated services across an area.

Download the ‘Workforce shaping and commissioning for better outcomes’ guide

Having conversations as part of assessments with people who need care and support, rather than following a standard form, can help you commission local services that people want and need. This approach is called 'conversational assessment.' ' Using conversations to assess and plan people's care and support' explains what this approach is and outlines the key principles involved in doing a conversational assessment. 

Download the 'Using conversations to assess and plan people's care and support' guide

Workforce outcomes measurement model

Our  ‘Workforce outcomes measurement model’ is a simple model to help you identify workforce outcomes and how they can be linked to person centred outcomes. 

Download the ‘Workforce outcomes measurement model'

Workforce capacity planning

Our capacity planning tools help you to work out if you have the right mix and numbers of workers with the right skills and knowledge to implement care and support reform.

The principles of workforce capacity planning are applicable across all services undergoing change.

Visit our workforce capacity planning page

Effective deployment of social workers

Our  effective deployment resource provides information and resources to help you provide effective commissioning and deployment of social workers.  

It will help you to plan your social workers to provide personalised care which is a key requirement of the Care Act. 



Integrated care is about people only having to tell their story once and getting the high quality care and support that they want and need. See what we’re doing to help.

Information for commissioners

A level 5 qualification has been developed to support current and aspiring commissioners

Find out more about the Level 5 Certificate in Principles of Commissioning for Wellbeing


We’ve grouped our resource for commissioners into five key themes below.

High quality commissioning and workforce commissioning focuses on citizenship, health and wellbeing.

To prevent, reduce and delay the need for care and support, commissioners need to consider services that promote self-care, skills of the individual and other asset based approaches.

Effective commissioning can only be achieved by empowering people who need care and support, their carers and families, to play a leading role in shaping and driving the changes they want to see.

Looking closely at informal community support and the skills that exist within communities, drawing it in to the commissioning process is a way of doing this.

As a commissioner you must promote a sustainable market to meet care and support needs in your area, and ensure that there is a choice of providers who together offer a variety of services.

Commissioners have a role in defining local care and support needs then understanding and shaping the supply, demand and future needs of the workforce as part of their market position statement.

Local authorities are responsible for a responsive, diverse and sustainable market of service providers that can provide high quality, personalised care and support that best meets the needs of people.

Changes to the way services are commissioned will potentially have an impact on the workforce, both in terms of the activities they undertake and their reaction to this change.

To meet the changing needs of people who need care and support, effective integration between those working in social care, health, housing etc. is essential.  There has to be a focus on working together to meet people’s needs and aspirations.

Across adult care, precious resources are lost due to duplication of effort. Employers in all sectors need to do more to build on good practice and find new and creative ways to work better together, delivering higher standards of care and prevent wastage.


Careers in commissioning

If you're considering a career move into commissioning, find out about potential pathways and more details about what the job entails.

Careers in commissioning